Tammy wished she hadn’t bothered going home for her father was still drunk and ranting at the television and her mother still faffing about in the catastrophe of the kitchen and the green Atlantic still heaving at the end of their garden.
There was no milk for tea so she went to the beach. A lone row-boat slapped against the sea-wall. A puppy lay immobile in the bilge-water and Tammy picked it up, thinking it was dead, but its limp body stirred. She put it inside her coat for it was ice-cold and hurried home. She didn’t care what they would say; she was keeping it.
Her mother filled a basin with warm water and put the little creature in it. It began to mew and Tammy looked for something to feed it with but there was nothing in the fridge but a piece of hard cheese. Then her mother pressed her finger to her lips and took out a glass of milk from the cupboard. ‘Don’t tell your father.’
Alison Marr is a musician and poet, originally from Northern Ireland, who now lives in London. She writes short stories and poetry.